Vatican City, May 31, 2020 / 05:40 am
Pope Francis prayed for the pandemic-ravaged Amazon region Sunday as he gave his first Regina Coeli address overlooking St. Peter’s Square since March.
Speaking from a window overlooking the square, the pope noted May 31 that the coronavirus had spread throughout the vast area of Amazonia in South America.
He said: “Seven months ago the Amazon synod ended; today, the feast of Pentecost, we invoke the Holy Spirit to give light and strength to the Church and society in the Amazon, which has been hard hit by the pandemic.”
“Many are the infected and the dead, even among the indigenous peoples, who are particularly vulnerable. Through the intercession of Mary, Mother of the Amazon, I pray for the poorest and most defenseless of that dear region.”
Traditionally, the pope leads the Sunday Angelus -- and the Regina Coeli, between Easter Sunday and Pentecost -- from the window of the Apostolic Palace overlooking St. Peter’s Square.
But from March 8 onwards, Pope Francis delivered his address via videolink from the library of the Apostolic Palace, and offered a blessing from the window above an empty St. Peter’s Square.
At the start of his address May 31, the pope expressed his delight at returning to the usual practice.
“Today the square is open, we can return,” he said, as people stood spaced out in the square below, many of them wearing medical masks. Security limited the number of people in the square as a safety measure.